Looking after your mental health during these difficult times

by Lorraine Williamson
mental health issues
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According to WHO, mental health issues have been increasing over recent years in people of all ages. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability and suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds.

Although there is far more mental health awareness now, there is still a stigma and discrimination attached to the “label”.  

You are not alone

Many conditions can be treated. But still there remains the problem that people need to understand what is going on with them. And, importantly, that they are not alone, and could receive help.

The pandemic has further increased the number of those suffering mental health issues. Restrictions meant many people working from home and interacting less on a physical basis. Furthermore, combined with less exercise, this has also had a negative impact.

Don´t suffer in silence

Earlier today, there was an incident in central Marbella, Malaga allegedly involving a man suffering with mental health issues. However, it is not known whether he was a long-time sufferer or whether he recently suffered in silence.

In 2019, WHO launched the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health (2019-2023): Universal Health Coverage for Mental Health to ensure access to quality and affordable care for such conditions in 12 priority countries to 100 million more people.

Covid Impact

According to a report by Statista in June, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had an impact on the psychological well-being of citizens all around the world. Because almost every part of normal life was affected.

In Spain, 48% of citizens stated they thought the situation would have a negative long-term impact on their well-being. Meanwhile, 22% of the Spanish population suffered from at least one mental health condition during 2020. Also, 14% reported they had experienced anxiety, while 10% said they had suffered from depression.

Depression and anxiety

In Spain, around 3.2% of men and 7.2% of women were diagnosed with depression in 2020. In the case of anxiety, approximately 3.5% of men and 8.1% of women had been diagnosed.

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However, the real figures are expected to be much higher, as most people who suffer, suffer in silence and have not been seen by a doctor.

Medication

Mental health treatment often involves counselling, medication, or a combination of both.

Counselling

Although psychological counselling is available free of charge from the Spanish public healthcare system, the reality is that there are not enough resources to provide treatment to everyone who needs it.

The World Health Organisation recognises the impact of these difficult times, and has put together some tips and advice to help.

Mental health services in Spain

If you require mental health support in Spain, make an appointment with your doctor or visit a local health centre. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist. Some mental healthcare services are available through the Spanish state health system.

Samaritans in Spain: English-language helpline offering free support – available by calling FREEPHONE 900 525 100 or online. You can also email pat@samaritansinspain.com

Spain Suicide: 24/7 Hotline   914590050  or online

Telefono De La Esperanza (Hope line): 902 500 002/914 590 055/717 003 717 (Spanish only)

As in the UK, there are the main three emergency services. These are police (policia), fire brigade (bomberos) and ambulance (ambulancia). The main number to call for any of these services is 112.

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